Thursday, September 18, 2014

Painting Projects: The Gossip Bench, Sideboard and a Frustrating Little Table

I still don't have the steel kitchen cabinet ready to show you--tomorrow, perhaps, we will get the hardware back on it and it will be ready for your viewing pleasure. Today, besides writing ghost stories and canning applesauce, I put most of the finishing touches to two pieces I started on the weekend, and pulled my hair out over the third.

First, here's the one I like best:

This is the gossip bench or telephone table I posted some months back. It needed repair, if you remember, and it has been waiting patiently for me to get around to it.
This is where Larry repaired a hole punched into the wood.

Now it's ready for one of the booths, and I am very pleased with the way it turned out.

I debated covering the original vinyl seat with a checked fabric or even a plain ivory piece, but in the end left it as it was. It does have a tiny tear in the vinyl which is why I considered covering it, but perhaps the new owner will want it as is, or will want to choose their own covering.

When I went to buy paint, there was a very limited selection of reds. I chose this one, a cranberry shade and I absolutely love it.

Second is this small sideboard. It's not a great piece, but I picked it up fairly cheaply and thought it was a good candidate for updating with some paint. It was a dull maple finish with those copper hinges and pulls, so I chose a sage-y green (called Olive something, go figure!) that I thought would show off the copper. Here again, we discussed replacing the hardware but it was so pretty we left it in place. The only thing I have left to do to this piece is wax it. It will have a modest price as it is not all wood; there is some pressed wood in it.

Last of these three is this aggravating little table.

We picked it up for a couple dollars in Pennsylvania and again I thought a bit of paint would really bring it alive. I went with the green again since the table is destined for a different booth, and I thought it would be a good display piece for someone's Christmas tree. The base painted beautifully, and so did the top--except for one weird spot that came right through my three coats of paint. Ugh. This evening I coated it again with a base paint, and you guessed it--the spot is right back. So I'm thinking about what to do next.

I still like it, even if it has made me crazy!

That's what I've worked on this week. Next week, I hope to get to work on two bigger projects: a chest of drawers and a small drop-front desk. We shall see how the stars align for that plan.

How about you? Any painting projects got you busy?

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Saturday's Sternwheelers in Pomeroy

We didn't get to Pomeroy until late Saturday afternoon and Larry was pretty tired, but I did convince him to stick around long enough for me to take a few photos of the sternwheelers in town for the annual Meigs County Sternwheeler Festival.

I love these boats. Maybe it's because they're a throwback to another time. I won't say a simpler time because I do believe people were just as busy, if not busier, then as they were forging a new nation, clearing land, establishing local governments, and discovering new and exciting methods of travel. 
 The steamboat trade on the inland waterways began in 1811 and picked up steam (pun intended) through the century, finally losing ground to the railroads and eventually to automobiles and trucks. But in their day, the boats were all over the place, carrying people and cargo from one community to another, billowing black smoke from their stacks, blowing their whistles and generally producing a lot of racket.

 And then of course there were the floating palaces, the showboats, that brought entertainment to remote places, and probably brought a good bit of trouble too with gambling and shifty types looking for opportunities to enrich themselves at the expense of the local population. But what excitement they produced with their steam calliopes playing music, hawkers running through the streets with handbills, gaslights blazing at night, and all the mystery of faraway places suggested by their arrival!

The sternwheelers today are strictly pleasure boats; the big ones still travel on river excursion cruises, providing luxury accommodations for those who can afford the (to me) high price of the trip.

 And then there are these gorgeous smaller sternwheelers, what might have been called packet boats back in the day of steam as they usually carried the "packets" of mail. Today these are usually privately owned or used for short excursion trips for tourists in river towns.

 Small or large, there is just something about these boats. Maybe it's their stacks, or their paddlewheels, or their perk shapes,

or maybe it's their bells and wood steering wheels, or their steam whistles...
 I don't know, but I never tire of looking at them and I will get on board whenever an opportunity presents itself.

Other boats were in town too, and the Ohio was big enough for them all on this beautiful day.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Painting Projects: No. 1--The Vintage Steel Cabinet

I'm back to painting finally, now that the weather has cooled, the gardens are pretty much over and storytelling is quiet. This cabinet took a few hours yesterday:

I forgot (as usual) to take before photos. But here is the condition of the drawers. I had planned to paint the cabinet red because I thought the finish was too bad to save. But after a closer look, I got out the Barkeepers Friend and started scrubbing to see if I could clean it up.

This side was the worst. I hoped that the bad place was just dirt, but no, it was rust.

The front kickplate paint was chipped, but inside the contact paper probably saved the big storage shelf.

 The top is not porcelain, but Formica, and it looked pretty bad too.

To work! (Note to self--buy gloves next trip to town.)

And here it is, after the cleaning but before the hardware was put back on. 

More pics when it's completely finished.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.
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